Friday, September 23, 2005

University of Alabama Football Report for 9/23/05

These violent delights have violent ends

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

Which as they kiss consume.

Romeo and Juliet (Act II, Scene iv)

After a near perfect performance against South Carolina last week, even Mike Shula’s harshest critics are warming up to him. That’s not all: The AP has lifted Bama back in the rankings. Some fans are even contemplating travel plans to Atlanta. But not everything in our garden of delights smells so sweet.

For example, one suspects that if the Crimson Tide relies too much on this. And not enough on this. Then, after the Arkansas game, fans may be seeing this.

In Tuscaloosa, Brodie Croyle may walk on water, but he goddamned better not run with the football against an SEC team again!

Also, the Alabama coaching staff has tried their best to keep the team focused on the game plan, keep them from looking ahead to next week’s showdown with Florida. Even after their lost weekend on the West Coast, the Arkansas Gatorbacks– uh, I mean – the Florida Razorbacks – damn! I mean – the Florida Gators – oh, hell!

OK, let’s face it: If Bama plays half as well as they did last week and Arkansas plays twice as well as they did last week, tomorrow’s game will still be a crime scene. The Tide should run away with this game, and the touchdown spread is nothing more than so much Vegas sucker bait. But Alabama is a young team and there’s no guarantee that they will be half as good against soon-to-be ex-Razorback coach Houston Nutt’s squad as they were against the Gamecocks.

So this game is dangerous and near meaningless, unless Alabama loses. Then all the delights from this past week come due, and all those people warming up to Coach Shula will add fuel to the flames.

Roll Tide.